Monday, December 3, 2007

August Trip and Update

In August we traveled back to Guatemala for 10 days, in part to check on the progress of our Amigos de San Pablo grantees. One day at snacktime, we met up with three of the four (Darvin, Edelmira and Rosmeri) to get to know them better and to talk about the school year and how the grants have helped their studies.

Edelmira hopes to become a social worker one day because, she says, she loves to help people. Her favorite class is morals and ethics, but she's not a big fan of math. Without the grant, she likely would not have started bachillerato, or the Guatemalan equivalent to high school. She has one more year before she graduates with a high school diploma.

Likewise, Rosmeri (who was joking the whole time we were photographing her!) really likes morals and ethics, and also really loves listening to music, especially Mexican románticas. She hopes to be a psychologist when she's older, and says she's grateful for the opportunity to continue her studies with the help of her Amigos de San Pablo stipend.

We first came up with the idea for Amigos de San Pablo after hearing about Darvin, whose father has a drinking problem that leaves his children and wife abjectly poor. Darvin has struggled with his classes because of a lack of support at home -- he often stays with his grandparents and uncles, who love him but who think school is a waste of time -- so even with financial support he has had a hard time keeping up in class this year. He says that math is his favorite class and that he loves playing soccer with his friends, and he hopes to pull up his grades with the help of his new 19-year-old mentor, Macedonio Pérez, a good friend of ours and a great role model for San Pablo's youth.

We hope to continue funding these students (sadly, Noelí couldn't meet up with us that day) and several others for the coming school year. If you're interested in donating to the the Amigos de San Pablo scholarship fund, please click on the PayPal button on the right or contact Brooke or Ian via e-mail. Thanks!

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